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Josh Allen was nothing short of sensational for the Buffalo Bills in their win over the defending Super Bowl-champion Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Thursday night to kick off the 2022 NFL season.
On a night that was supposed to be all about the Rams lifting their Super Bowl banner, with Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Whitworth and others in the building, Allen made it all about him with his offensive performance.
The Bills’ signal caller finished with four touchdowns on the night, three through the air and one rushing score to set the bar high for the other 31 quarterbacks in the league in Week 1.
Allen finished the game very efficient at 26-for-31 with those three touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for a team-high 56 yards on 10 carries.
Allen turned it up in the second half, where the Bills outscored the Rams 21-0. It came after some sloppy play that resulted in three turnovers for the Bills in the first half, two fumbles by running backs and an interception from Allen, though Isaiah McKenzie had it in his hands before it was ripped out.
Being the team leader that he is, Allen credited the Bills’ defense, who also had a fantastic game, with their play to get him the ball back, especially in the second half.
“First off, that first half, being careless with the football a little bit,” Allen said after the game. “Our defense played a hell of a game.”
Allen scored on the team’s first drive of the second half, finding McKenzie with a quick dart into the end zone out of the slot to make it a 17-10 game.
On their next drive, Allen found Gabriel Davis on a deep ball for 47 yards to eventually set up a great run on third-and-goal from Allen. He reached out with Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner trying to take him down and got the ball over the white line to take a commanding 24-10 lead.
And then there was a connection that worked all night: Stefon Diggs slipped through the Rams’ secondary and caught a 53-yard touchdown from Allen, who was running to his right and threw off balance to place it right in his arms.
“We felt like their corners were really look toward the quarterback. Diggs ran a hell of a route and he made a play for us,” Allen said about his favorite target.
Diggs finished with eight catches for 122 yards.
The first touchdown of the season came on a perfectly-designed play, allowing Davis to slip out of a block and go untouched for a 26-yard score.
Overall, this was a statement game for Allen and the Bills. They not only beat the defending champions, but they come into this season as the favorites to win the Super Bowl at the end of the year.
A beatdown of the Rams showed the NFL why they are projected to hoist that Vince Lombardi trophy next. Allen is a key reason why. He even had a nasty stiff arm, the first one of the season that fans got out of their seats for, in the first half that showed how much grit Allen has.
“Third down, just trying to make a play for the team. Guys appreciate that,” he said. “I play hard. I want to win games no matter how I can do it. That’s just an example of what I’m going to do to win a game and try to get a first down.
“I like winning. Whatever I’m asked to do, I’m willing to do.”
He will look to put on another show in Week 2 on another prime time game, Monday Night Football, against the Tennessee Titans in the Bills’ home opener.